Skip to main content

Hillary Clinton's debate problem: She's a woman named Hillary Clinton

I'm seeing friends, right and left, suggest that Hillary Clinton failed to land a knockout blow against Donald Trump in tonight's debate. I'm not so worried: I think Clinton knows, after Friday's release of the "Billy Bush" tape, that she's ahead on points, and she doesn't have to work too aggressively to win the championship.

Here's the problem: She's a woman named Hillary Clinton.

This is the woman who commentators tell to smile more one debate, smile less then next. She's a woman who faces the same issue many professional women do — act too aggressively and you're a bitch. Moderate your presentation and you come across as a shrinking violet. No woman can win by those standards — indeed, they're not supposed to.

Hillary, after decades in the public eye, is ultra-aware of the dynamic. So: If she presses the case too hard against Trump tonight, there's an excellent chance that lots of post-debate pundits are using b-word euphemisms to describe her tonight. The knockout blow expected from a man in her situation would likely be used against her.

So. She lets her opponent punch himself out. It's not like people are going to like the Billy Bush tape tomorrow morning. She just had to stay on her feet and not let Donald land a clean hit. It's not the genital-measuring contest we might've expected to see between two male candidates, but it does require patience. And for better or worse, Donald was right: She does have that patience. She never gives up. Her fighting style is the one that's best suited to who she is.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yoga

I've been making some life changes lately — trying to use the time I have, now that I'm back in Kansas, to improve my health and lifestyle. Among the changes: More exercise. 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Doesn't sound like a lot, but some is more than none, and I know from experience that getting overambitious early leads to failure. So. Thirty minutes a day.

One other thing: Yoga, a couple of times a week. It's nothing huge — a 15-minute flexibility routine downloaded from an iPhone app. But I've noticed that I'm increasingly limber.

Tonight, friends, I noticed a piece of trash on the floor. I bent over at the waist and picked it up, and threw it away.

Then I wept. I literally could not remember the last time I'd tried to pick something off the floor without grunting and bracing myself. I just did it.

Small victories, people. Small victories.

Liberals: We're overthinking this. Hillary didn't lose. This is what it should mean.

Interesting:
Nate Cohn of the New York Times estimates that when every vote is tallied, some 63.4 million Americans will have voted for Clinton and 61.2 million for Trump. That means Clinton will have turned out more supporters than any presidential candidate in history except for Obama in 2008 and 2012. And as David Wasserman of Cook Political Report notes, the total vote count—including third party votes—has already crossed 127 million, and will “easily beat” the 129 million total from 2012. The idea that voters stayed home in 2016 because they hated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is a myth. We already know the Electoral College can produce undemocratic results, but what we don't know is why — aside from how it serves entrenched interests — it benefits the American people to have their preference for national executive overturned because of archaic rules designed, in part, to protect the institution of slavery. 

A form of choosing the national leader that — as has happened in …

I'm not cutting off my pro-Trump friends

Here and there on Facebook, I've seen a few of my friends declare they no longer wish the friendship of Trump supporters — and vowing to cut them out of their social media lives entirely.

I'm not going to do that.

To cut ourselves off from people who have made what we think was a grievous error in their vote is to give up on persuading them, to give up on understanding why they voted, to give up on understanding them in any but the most cartoonish stereotypes.

As a matter of idealism, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on democracy. As a matter of tactics, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on ever again winning in a democratic process.

And as a long-term issues, confining ourselves to echo chambers is part of our national problem.

Don't get me wrong: I expect a Trumpian presidency is a disaster, particularly for people of color. And in total honesty: My own relationships have been tested by this campaign season. There's probably some damage…